§ Lord Dormand of Easington
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will state which grants are now payable for regional development, together with details of eligibility and the sums available.
§ The Minister of State, Department of Trade and Industry (Lord Trefgarne)
There are two main grant schemes available to businesses in development and intermediate areas of Great Britain; regional selective assistance (RSA) and regional enterprise grants (REG). Consultancy support is also given at higher rates in these areas.
RSA is available for manufacturing and service industry projects which either create new employment or safeguard existing employment in the development or intermediate areas. To be eligible projects should be viable; contribute to both the regional and national economy; and in the main be financed from private sector sources. Applicants must also demonstrate that assistance is required in order for the project to go ahead on the basis proposed. Assistance is based on the fixed capital costs of a project and on the number of jobs the project is expected to create or safeguard. The level of assistance is negotiated as the minimum necessary to enable the project to proceed.
REG is available in development areas, and in the intermediate areas of South Yorkshire designated under the European regional development fund RESIDER programme. Eligibility is restricted to independent businesses employing fewer than 25 103WA employees in most manufacturing and many service industry sectors. For investment support, grant is 15 per cent. of the cost of fixed assets up to a grant ceiling of £15,000. For innovation support, grant is 50 per cent. of eligible project costs up to a grant ceiling of £25,000.
Consultancy assistance under the enterprise initiative is available nationally to most independent firms or groups with fewer than 500 employees. DTI pays half the cost (two thirds in the assisted and urban programme areas) of between five and 15 days of consultancy. The average size of the DTI contribution to the consultancy is £3,200.